Aberdeen curler Rebecca Morrison believes learning from the best can help her reach the next level.
The 24-year-old was just starting primary school when, weeks after Rhona Martin claimed Great Britain’s only Olympic curling gold, Jackie Lockhart became a world champion skip and it was finding herself under the same roof as her fellow Aberdonian that fuelled her belief that she could make it to the top of the sport.
Morrison said: “Rhona Martin achieved gold back in 2002 so we have seen success from Scottish women for some time now.
“I was only five years old when they won in Salt Lake and growing up people would always talk about Rhona’s stone of destiny moment.
“It showed me and can show others that if you can be good in Scotland, you also have the potential to be good in the world game too and that is what I want and that is what her example showed me.
“It was really exciting when big names came to the ice rink, so when Jackie Lockhart turned up because she curled at Curl Aberdeen when I was a kid, I thought that was really cool and it was great to be on ice alongside Olympians and really great role models.
“Jackie coached some of the juniors for a while when I was about 13 and it was really exciting to have someone who had been to the Olympics and won a world championships sharing her knowledge with us.
“It has been really great in Scotland. We have had so many great female athletes in our sport. It is definitely inspiring as a young female athlete growing up seeing other female athletes achieving so much success, to see what is possible and to know that could be you.”
After establishing her potential Morrison then gained further confidence from finding herself competing with another world champion that she has admired since her earliest days in the sport.
“Of course Eve (Muirhead) was someone I looked up to,” she said.
“In 2014 when Eve was winning a medal at the Olympics I was still at school. I was watching her compete in the Olympics. Looking back now I think the 17-year-old me would have been stunned if I knew I would be training alongside her in the National Curling Academy and also what we achieved at the September Shoot-Out last month, that was pretty cool. “
Having reached the Scottish Championships final as part of Team Wilson last season, Morrison found herself in a completely new line-up alongside Gina Aitken, Mili Smith and Sophie Sinclair at the start of this season and in their only competitive outing so far at that British Curling organised September Shoot Out, they surprised even themselves by beating the much more experienced Team Muirhead line-up.
While none of them are getting carried away with that success, it is a victory that has stimulated their appetite for more success and the hard work that is required to try to achieve it.
Morrison added: “It is an exciting time for our new team and competing together for the first time last month showed us what we are capable of and what we can do together.
“Going up against Team Muirhead in the Scottish and at the Perth Masters was a learning curve. As time goes on you learn so much more and being supported at a different level in the programme has also helped a lot. We are now looking to the future and the worlds and Olympics .
“We want to win more and more to get those chances. We might not get much in event-wise this season, but we want to do as much as we can so that when we can compete at events we are ready.”